‘Beware of no-time disease that won’t let you slow down’
There is a lot of talk about physical, emotional and mental wellness, but what about professional wellbeing? In a session on the inaugural day of the Times Litfest titled ‘Religion Spirituality and Karma’, ISKCON monk and life coach Gaur Gopal Das said that professional wellness means something that not only pays well but also leaves you feeling well. Sadly, people do well at work, but don’t often enjoy their jobs.
In a conversation with bestselling writer Ashwin Sanghi, he said that early on in his career as an electrical engineer he figured that we all on an average spend a whopping 90,000 hours of our lives at work, and that while he knew he would do well during that time, he wasn’t sure he would feel well every moment of it. So, he decided to give it up to pursue his spiritual calling. Being a nonconformist, Sanghi too gave up the well-trodden path to follow his passion. From being a businessman, he became a writer.
However, both advised against taking ‘uncalculated risks’ to ‘feel well’. “Giving up your day job is not a good idea, as you might have family responsibilities and there are bills to be paid,” said the monk. “Initially, I too would pursue at night my passion for writing, while spending the whole day at work, running my business. So, my advice to young people is not to suddenly give up your job. It is difficult to write when you are hungry,” said Sanghi.
So, the answer to leading a fulfilling work life then lies in pursuing parallel lines. “To do well, have a professional line, and to feel well, follow your passion, your hobby,” said Das, “and who knows one day it might become a mainstream profession.”
Talking about ways to balance and align the four wheels of life –personal life, relationships, work life, and our social contribution –Das said that most of us are suffering from ‘no-time disease’. We lead such fast-paced lives that it is difficult to even figure out whether life needs to be balanced at all. “Step one is to slow down, in terms of life, because we are not ‘human doings’, we are ‘human beings’. Doing is an important aspect of our life but being is more important as it empowers our doing. When we slow down, we enter into that space of well-being and silence where we are able to listen to our own inner voice. This brings us to the stage of introspection. To align the four wheels of life, we need to be able to introspect to find out which aspect needs more attention. Post this, we have to take micro steps to address it,” the monk recommended.